Information management: Light-directed put stations optimize split case fulfillment

Pick rates increase threefold, topping out at 1,000 items per hour.

By ·

Next, an apparel retailer, sought to increase pick rates and decrease the amount of worker travel in the warehouse. By deploying a goods-to-person order fulfillment solution, the company has achieved a dramatic increase in distribution productivity and capacity.

The facility now features 20 light-directed stations that each hold up to 24 order totes destined for one of approximately 500 retail outlets. At each high-rate put station, a single operator is directed by put-to-light displays to fill a series of orders, fed by a seamless, sequenced supply of product from storage. Product is automatically delivered to the station’s central picking point from the automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). When an order tote is full, the display instructs the operator to push it onto a take-away conveyor for transfer to shipping.

The high rate put stations eliminate the need for workers to travel to each pick face in a warehouse. Instead, operators are fed with a continual supply of products, and the ergonomic design of the stations ensures that high productivity is combined with minimal physical demands on operators. The operators now achieve pick rates of up to 1,000 items per hour depending on the order profile.

An additional benefit of supplying stock to pickers is that errors are substantially reduced, improving accuracy and customer service levels. The high rate order fulfillment system has delivered a 300% increase in order picking rates, along with far greater peak capacity to meet changing business requirements.


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Solving the Labor Shortage Crisis: The Four Benefits of an Automated Warehouse
Not enough warehouse staff? Finding it difficult to keep up with orders during peak periods?
Download Today!
From the March 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies, including heads-up display and robotics, to transform its operations today.
Conveyors & sortation: Carrying the e-commerce burden
2018 Productivity Achievement Awards
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
NextGen Supply Chain at DHL
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies,...
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...

System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...